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The fruits of free trade
The churn among firms
Crude awakening: behind the surge in oil prices
The first few months of 2008 saw crude oil prices breach one barrier after another. They topped $100 a barrel for the first time on Feb. 19, then rose past $103.76 about two weeks later, surpassing the previous inflation-adjusted peak, established in 1980. In April and early May, oil prices pushed past $110 and then $120 a barrel and beyond. ; These milestones reflect a new era in oil markets. After the tumult of the early 1980s, prices remained relatively tame for two decades - in both real and nominal terms. This long stretch of stability ended in 2004, when oil topped $40 a barrel for the ...